The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will hear the petition filed by fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on August 20. Mallya in his petition has sought review of its 2017 order holding him guilty of contempt of court for transferring USD 40 million to his children.

The matter came up for hearing through video-conferencing before a bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and Ashok Bhushan, which adjourned it as one of the documents was not available on the record.

Earlier in June, the apex court had directed its registry to explain why the petition had not been listed before the concerned court for the last three years.

It had directed the registry to furnish all the details including names of officials who had dealt with the file concerning the review petition in the last three years.

The petition seeks the review of the top court’s order dated back to May 9, 2017 by which he was held guilty of contempt of court for transferring the USD 40 million to his children in violation of the court order.

The Supreme Court’s 2017 order had come on a plea by consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI), which had said that Vijay Mallya had allegedly transferred USD 40 million received from British firm Diageo, to his children in “flagrant violation” of various judicial orders.

It was dealing with pleas of lending banks seeking contempt action and a direction to Vijay Mallya to deposit USD 40 million received from offshore firm Diageo respectively.

The banks had then alleged that Vijay Mallya concealed the facts and diverted the money to his son Siddharth Mallya and daughters Leanna Mallya and Tanya Mallya in “flagrant violation” of the orders passed by the Karnataka High Court.

The liquor baron has lived in the UK since he fled India on March 2, 2016.

Under the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, Mallya is the first accused in India to be booked. In 2019, a Mumbai court named Mallya as an offender under the Act, empowering probing agencies to seize his properties and assets the world over.

Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, is under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), and Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for loan defaults of over Rs 9,000 crore to a consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI).

(With inputs from PTI)